Attaining full occupancy when renting out a property.
With yields falling it is important to ensure your rental property is not empty for long. One way to do this is to work towards having long-term tenants in the place. The other is to ensure the place is too tempting for would-be tenants to pass up, thereby limiting the amount of time it is empty between rentals.
Given that property prices have increased but rentals have largely stayed the same, yields are definitely leaner of late, but they are still very much higher than bank rates, which are close to zero for most depositors. One thing that hasn’t changed much is the cost of the interior of the property as compared to the property price itself. It means you can spend a relatively small amount on the property and produce some stunning results in your goal to ensure the place is fully occupied.
Tenants certainly have a lot of choice, so it is worth leaving no stone unturned. There will usually be a list of necessities that will be on the minds of most prospective tenants, and if any of these are missing it could put you behind in the race to rent out your property.
Be sure to provide a modern and stylish interior, with comfortable soft furnishings. It may seem a waste to spend a lot on a mattress when in reality it will look the same as a cheaper one, but you will be surprised at how many people will test the bed for comfort. It is a reasonable thing for them to do since they will spend a great deal of time sleeping on it.
A fully-fitted kitchen is another plus. In a studio this can be achieved in a very small area in the corner of the larger space, or if you can, in a separate room that you can create with a new wall or an archway, such that cooking is confined to its own section. Gadgets in the kitchen should include a microwave oven, a coffee maker, an induction hob, a hood with its own lighting and plenty of utensils for cooking. If you can add a conventional oven then this will be a bonus allowing for extra cooking possibilities that may seldom be found in other properties. It will stand out as an extra that might just make all the difference. A washing machine might not be necessary in a place if there is a laundry service on site, otherwise it might be wise to place an automatic washer on a balcony or an outside area for ease of use.
Mod-cons inside such as a flat screen TV, a wide range of satellite or cable TV channels in multiple languages, an iPod dock and speaker system and a VCD player will all go towards making sure tenants have their entertainment toys up to scratch.
It is worth visiting competing properties and also some high-end hotels to see what is on offer. Remember, hotels are charging hefty fees per night and so have spent a great deal of time refining their designs in order to bring in customers in what is a very competitive market place.
If you are targeting certain groups of customers, e.g. Middle Eastern, Chinese or Russian tourists then it is worth having some aspects of the property in place so that they are well catered for. It could be design traits, accessories or other small items that will gain much needed attention and these will be remembered by potential clients during their search.
Other incentives that can be given to prospective tenants include financial ones. It might be that you could come down with your deposit requirements. This will certainly enable you to stand out from the crowd, as the norm is two month’s deposit and one month’s rent for a six or 12-month contract. Try reducing the deposit to one and a half months rent or even just one month, if you feel comfortable. Of course it is important you remain covered in the event of any breakages or other damage so much would depend on the level of rental in question before agreeing to cut any deposit requirement.
You could also look to make reductions in the rental rate for longer contracts or even offer one month free for a year contract. Some creative thinking here should help to keep your property full and generating income.
Other extras, such as a maid service or minibus service to various locations might also help. This is quite an inexpensive thing to offer but might really help the tenants and will be seen as much more valuable than the actual cost.
If you haven’t yet bought a property to rent out, but are considering doing so, then it is worth remembering that on-site facilities are a major draw. For a condo or even for a house in a housing project look to see if there is a swimming pool, gym and landscaped gardens within the development. All of these facilities will be selling points as and when you come to rent out the place. Other extras would include a range of shops such as a minimart or small supermarket, as well as coffee shops, pizzerias and other restaurants. If they can be on-site then this will be a convenience and can be highlighted as a selling point to any would-be tenant.
In keeping with that theme it is important to choose a place with a good location such that there are easy transport links to the city centre and other places of interest, such as the beach or entertainment venues. Many people don’t have cars or motorbikes so it would be wise to look at public transport options too. If these are in place then they can be sold as selling points for the property.
By using a combination of the above factors you should be able to maximize the amount of time your property is rented out for and achieve full occupancy.